Registration Renewal in North Carolina
Compare Insurance Rates in 3 Easy Steps
1. Start Your Quote:
Once you register your vehicle, you are required to renew your registration annually. The month the renewal is due depends on the month you originally registered the vehicle.
Renew NC Registration
In order to legally drive your car or park it on a street, you must have a current registration. Car insurance is also a requirement if your car is still registered.
To finish learning about car registration renewals, scroll on down to “Check Your Renewal Notice.”
Register a Vehicle in NC for the First Time
If you're new to the state, or just bought or received a car, you'll need to visit the first-time registration page to learn how to register it for the first time.
Register a Non-Operational Vehicle
If you plan on storing a car and dropping the insurance, turn in your tags to a Vehicle & License Plate Renewal Office before you drop the insurance. If you keep your insurance, you’ll have to pay to renew your tags.
For details on salvaged vehicles, call (919) 861-3500.
Before your registration expires, you should receive a reminder card in the mail. You do not need this card to renew your registration, but it is handy because it provides all the identification information you will need to renew. It may even remind your about the emissions inspection your vehicle needs before you can renew the registration.
If you don't receive a notice to renew, you can call (919) 715-7000 to request one. You may also simply renew online or in person without a notice. Not getting a notice is no excuse for not renewing; you'll still get a citation.
Before you renew, you may need a new inspection, for which fees range from $13.60 to $30.
Renewal fees for your plates vary according to your county. If you have specialty plates, there is an additional fee for those.
As you can see, renewal fees vary just like auto insurance rates.
Avoid Late Fees and Penalties
There are no late fees or penalties for renewing late; however, you can get cited for having an expired registration. Be sure you renew on time.
- Locate your current inspection report.
- Know your license plate number and the last five digits of your title number (as shown on your registration or renewal card).
- Have your insurance policy number.
- Make sure your address matches the one on file, including the county in which the vehicle is registered.
- Be prepared to pay with a Visa or MasterCard.
- Visit the state's Registration Renewal Service and follow the instructions provided.
- Expect your new registration materials to arrive in the mail within seven business days.
- Have proof of a passed inspection.
- Find your renewal notice.
- Know your license plate number and insurance information if you don’t have your renewal notice.
- Be prepared to pay your fees with a check (and two forms of ID), cash, or a money order.
- Bring these items to any Vehicle & License Plate Renewal Office.
- Appropriately complete your renewal notice. (This may include providing proof your vehicle passed an inspection.)
- Have the correct renewal fee and $1 for return postage.
- In enough time to receive your tags before your registration expires, mail everything to:
- NC Division of Motor Vehicles
- P.O. Box 29620
- Raleigh, NC 27626-0620
Once the DMV receives your renewal application and fees, they will issue you new stickers to put on your license plate. Affix these stickers to your plate according to the included instructions.
The IRS allows you to deduct a portion of your registration fees only if they're based on value. Because there is a flat renewal rate for everyone, this break will not apply to you.
For more information, consult a tax attorney.
Now that your registration is taken care of, turn your attention to some of the nitty-gritty details of car ownership.
Maintenance will make your car last much longer and save you money. Be sure to give your car regular oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations, and new tires before these turn into major fixes that could even cause accidents.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
Your Opinion Matters To Us!Send Feedback